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Catch of the day: Donegal firm lands deal to supply Lidl stores around Ireland

Catch of the day: Donegal firm lands deal to supply  Lidl stores around Ireland

A Donegal firm is one of 25 small Irish suppliers which is part of Lidl’s Kick Start Supplier Development Programme.

Dungloe-based supplier, Irish Fish Canners will be supplying a limited edition range of its tasty smoked mackerel fillets in tomato sauce to Lidl’s 208 Irish stores from Thursday, January 28.

Recognised by Bord Bia, sustainability-focused business, Irish Fish Canners is making a return to Lidl stores following its success in a previous Kick Start programme which resulted in their smoked peppered mackerel being made a permanent item in Lidl’s growing assortment.

Proiseail (An Clochan Liath) Teoranta, trading as Irish Fish Canners, first opened its doors as a fish canning factory in September, 1977. 

An ambitious local entrepreneur Michael J. Bonner purchased the company in 1988 while it was operating on a three-day working week. 

Michael’s vision for the business was to provide sustainable jobs within the local community by utilizing what nature provided, premium quality fish from the sustainable cold clear waters of the North Atlantic Ocean. 

That’s a vision he successfully achieved and built upon.

Michael’s established background in sales of pelagic fish helped him secure UN Food-Aid contracts, supplying premium quality, locally caught and canned mackerel to an international market. 

Following Michael’s untimely passing in 1993 the company remained within the Bonner family and still does. Irish Fish Canners is a 100% family owned and run business with family members working within the company.

Developed in partnership with Bord Bia, Lidl has already invested €1 million through the programme since its inception in 2017, with countless supplier success stories to tell including many suppliers going on to stock Lidl’s every day range permanently. 

In 2017, Lidl developed Kick Start, their renowned supplier development programme. Supported by Bord Bia, the programme was designed to give small and medium Irish food and drink businesses the opportunity to grow their brand and build their supply network.

Each year, suppliers are chosen from across the country to take part in the programme with their products being sold as part of a promotional range in Lidl’s 208 stores across Ireland and Northern Ireland and the potential of being offered a long-term listing with Lidl.

As part of the programme all suppliers attend a series of free, comprehensive seminars which guide them through the Kick Start programme and teach them the skills they need to develop their business ahead of their products going on sale at Lidl. The seminars are carried out by a panel of industry experts from Lidl and include themes around quality control, packaging, marketing, public relations and brand building.

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